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Last Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2005, 19:04 GMT
Activists agree to limit protests
Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire.
The Halls' farm in Newchurch has been targeted
The owners of a farm which breeds guinea pigs for medical research have reached a partial agreement in their dispute with animal rights activists.

Villagers and farm owners in Staffs, want to stop harassment by protestors by having an exclusion zone.

A High Court judge heard some of the protestors had agreed to demonstrations outside the farm being limited in time, frequency and the number of protestors.

The court is hearing arguments for a wider exclusion zone to be imposed.

'Malicious phone calls'

The body of Gladys Hammond, 82, was removed from a grave in Yoxall, Staffordshire, in October 2004.

Mrs Hammond's son-in-law Chris Hall breeds guinea pigs for medical research with his brother John at Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire.

A 62-year-old woman was arrested and bailed in connection with the grave robbery, and two men, aged 41 and 34, remain on police bail after being arrested in October.

Six weeks ago, a High Court judge imposed a zone of 100 yards around farms and homes of the owners' relatives, to prevent animal rights activists from harassing them.

The court heard then that hearing the Hall family had been subjected to a long-running campaign by animal rights activists, suffering hate mail, malicious phone calls, hoax bombs, a paedophile smear campaign and arson attacks.

Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, QC said on Monday that some of the 17 defendants were prepared to have limitations on their protests.

'Incidents of harassment'

Others who would not agree should be ordered by the court to abide by the same "clinical conditions policed by the Staffordshire Police force", he said.

One of them, Janet Tomlinson, had been involved in 91 known protests as part of the Save Newchurch Guinea Pigs, (SNGP) campaign and was currently on police bail after being questioned about the grave desecration.

The frequency of her protest activity could amount to "stalking", said Mr Lawson-Cruttenden.

There were at least two cases of harassment, or conduct connected with the campaign, recorded against each of the others, he said.

The case was brought under the Protection from Harassment Act against various individuals and organisations, including Save Newchurch Guinea Pigs, SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty), Speak Campaigns, and the Animal Liberation Front.

Village exclusion zone bid fails
02 Dec 04 |  Staffordshire
University wins animal rights bid
10 Nov 04 |  Oxfordshire
Police warning over farm protests
23 Oct 04 |  Staffordshire
Activists urged to stop protests
20 Oct 04 |  Staffordshire
Letters sent over missing remains
18 Oct 04 |  Staffordshire

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